Earlier today, I took a walk along the paved walkways of the Nyandungu Urban Wetland Ecotourism Park. What used to be a mosquito breeding ground is now a tourist attraction and a model of environmentally friendly recreational assets.
Our ancestors did a lot of walking and enjoyed sound health. Then came the Industrial Age and its ensuing revolution. Automobiles were invented and jobs that make us sit down all day were created. The new lifestyle, devoid of physical activities, led to the emergence of a plethora of diseases.
Regular walking reduces the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Walking is also an effective weapon in the fight against obesity, high cholesterol level, high blood pressure and diabetes, to name but a few.
The oldest form of exercising improves memory and combats the deterioration of brain tissues caused by old age. This simple but highly rewarding activity can be done by old people without stressing their delicate joints.
Regular walking increases our creative output by 60% while stimulating a free flow of ideas. Researchers call this kind of creativity divergent thinking. Engaging in activities that allow our minds to wander empowers our innovative acumen.
Since the launch of the Nyandungu park, I have been a regular fixture there. The project has successfully reintroduced native tree species and restored terrestrial and aquatic habitat. Walking, jogging or cycling in the said park is otherworldly. Speaking of cycling, you don’t have to bring your own bicycle. You can rent a bike at a modest rate of Rwf 500 (approximately USD 50 cents) per hour.
The author is an adventurer on a tour of all 30 districts of Rwanda. Follow his awe-inspiring expeditions on Twitter@GeoExposure.